As i write this, a friend lies in the intensive-care ward of a large hospital where the most advanced types of cardiovascular surgery are performed. He has undergone, apparently successfully, a very difficult operation on two of his heart valves.

The blood supply was basic to his illness. And the objective of the operation and the surgeon’s procedures all centered in one element—blood.

To live, the body needs properly circulating blood. Life depends on adequate functioning of the heart. The surgery performed on my friend depended on the supply of blood to every part of the body throughout the operation.

A person may be completely healthy, with no disease of any kind. But an uncontrolled hemorrhage means certain death.

If the heart does not function properly, the circulation of blood is impaired, and the too familiar phrase, “died of heart failure,” appears in the obituary column.

Without an artificial heart pump and an extra supply of compatible blood, modern cardiac surgery would be impossible. Internists, cardiologists, and surgeons all recognize the vital role of blood in human life.

So, too, without blood there can be no spiritual life. Without the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the Cross of Calvary, there is no remission of sins. A bloodless religion may appeal to the sophisticate and the esthete, but it has no power and offers no hope now or for eternity.

A look at some of the older hymn books reveals the place the blood of Christ had in the hymns of the past. Many of the newer and more vital churches continue to use these hymns. But in the hymn books of many major denominations, most if not all references to the blood have been eliminated. True, the music of some of the old hymns leaves much to be desired. But others are ...

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